Saturday, September 29, 2007

Why Marriage?

A question was asked in our Sabbath School class today. Why did God create marriage? What was the purpose. Of course there are many of the common answers, but I like what the teacher was trying to draw out of all of us.

Before Adam and Eve sinned and found their world turned upside-down, there was personal and visible communication between them and God. Adam and Eve had the privilege of walking and talking with God. They could have said things like, oh I'm so glad you created that adorable little creature and they could see the reaction on Jesus' face when the spoke of His creation. God longs to walk and talk with us today, but sin has separated us. We can't see the reaction on Jesus' face at this moment when we say, I really am glad for all You did for me.

What our teacher today presented was the fact that God created marriage for the additional purpose of being God's hands and feet to one another. Think of it for a moment. The Bible says that we only love because we love God and that's because God is love. So in a truly loving marriage relationship, God is to thank for that love.

When you've had a bad day, and your spouse can see it immediately and massages your shoulders that have become tense because of the pressures of the day, that's God's love coming through.

We have the privilege of being God's hands and feet and so forth, the body of Christ. We can share the love of God with others, especially with our spouse. I'm glad God created marriage and glad that He can be seen in the way we care for one another.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Groveling Cats

It is becoming official. I have a strong dislike for cats.
I won't go so far as to say I hate cats and I certainly wouldn't hurt one, but I strongly dislike them. It is a good thing 70 times 7 doesn't apply to cats because they have nearly reached their limit with me.

Now, I'm sure there are many people who adore cats and think of them as perfect pets. That's fine for them, but cats are going to have to do some amazing things and intense groveling before I even consider taking them off my strongly dislike list.

Where shall I start, there was the cat that started sucking on my mother's neck while she was sleeping trying to get to the milk she had drunk before she went to bed.

There was the cat that purposefully scratched me (by this time I was trying to avoid them) while I was pregnant with Greta.

There were the cats in Arizona that ruined all of our patio furniture and left cat urine running down the windshield of our car.

Then there were the cats that decided to get in a fight right outside our door and begin their screaming and howling that was most unnerving.

Most recently, a cat climbed onto my neighbor's hummingbird feeders and sent them both tumbling to the ground where they promptly broke.

Add to this that cats seem to think they are your prisoner instead of your pet. They don't come running when you call and you never know what kind of mood they are going to be in.

Now, I'm sure someone is going to stand up and say, wait a minute, they are just being cats! Well, that's interesting because it is a dog just being a dog when it bites someone that has intruded upon it's property, but we make laws about dogs. Someone please make a law about cats! No more double standards!

I'm sure there are wonderful cats out there, but somehow, I've mostly been exposed to the rotten ones (the only cat I did like when I was little ran away). Unfortunately, this is the same way many people look at God.

Perhaps they have run into people that claimed to be Christians, but were really full of self, not Christ. Perhaps they were only exposed to painful experiences and have no idea that there is a Savior with a heart full of grace.

I must confess, I've been one of those so-called Christians in the past who was full of self instead of Christ and I had many interactions with people through those years. I can only imagine the number of people I hurt. I pray now that somehow they will meet someone who truly lives the grace of Christ.

Somewhere out there is a nice cat. Somewhere out there is a Christian with a heart for others.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Shaking in Their Boots!

I have discovered something. I am death to can openers. I have yet to find a manual can opener that lasts for longer than the pretty finish on the handles.

As I was mourning my latest mechanical victim (actually it's only a slight injury, if I hold my tongue just right, the thing still works) I expressed my woe to my husband. Karl quickly pretended to be a can opener sitting on the shelf and begging me not to pick it up and put it in my cart, because it didn't want to die. "Please take the other guy. He's cheaper."

I laughed out loud when Karl started shaking as if in terror. If can openers could think/feel/speak, I'm sure they would have thoughts similar to what Karl was portraying.

So, why can't I find a can opener that will last? I promise that I don't throw the things around. While it's true that I've dropped them a few times, it was never intentional. Some may say I should get an electric can opener. For one thing, I really don't have the counter space in my new home. For another thing, I'd be scared that it would electrocute me some day to avoid being destroyed in my kitchen!

I suppose that if going through can openers left and right is my worst problem, I don't have much to worry about, but I still wonder why. Why am I death to can openers?

Right now, it's a bit of a perplexity that may keep me awake at night for the rest of the week. Soon I'll have something else to ponder, I'm sure. But when I think of the grand scheme of things, when I have the chance to ask God any question on my heart, I believe that can openers will suddenly pale in comparison to things such as, why did you love me enough to die in my place?

Saturday, September 8, 2007


Friday morning we wake up to the smell of skunk in the house. Yuck! Evidently one of these black and white creatures lingered long and left a mark somewhere outside our home. Just great!

Of course my mind is racing to our plans for that evening. Of course the house would smell like skunk when we have company coming over that night for dinner. Perfect timing, right? I was thankful that I knew where my incense burner was and that I could soon fill the house with something that smelled much better. Karl prefers spray air fresheners in general, but sometimes the smells are so long and lingering, you have to use the incense. The skunk smell definitely called for the incense.

I had the incense on the table next to my recliner. This is my favorite spot in the morning as I read my Bible and have that special time with God at the start of my day. As I saw the fragrant smoke going up from the incense stick and how it was covering up the smell of skunk, it made me think of the incense in the sanctuary in Israel.

The skunk smell was so horrible, that I had to mask it just to survive the day, starting with my time of Bible study and prayer. It was much the same with God's people in Israel. Their sins were so offensive, that God wanted them to have a picture of just how offensive it truly was. As the priests ministered before the Lord, interceding for the people, the incense would go up as a sweet aroma, compared to the nasty offensiveness of sin.

As I pondered this, I was grateful for the sweet aroma of Christ's wiling sacrifice for me.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Do you ever wonder how God works? Do you ever wonder if God smiles just before He orchestrates some incredible blessing or maybe a series of little blessings in your life?

For me, relocating to East Texas has had its challenges, that's for sure, but it has also had blessings both great and small. It's taken me a while to recover from being sick during the moving process (mostly due to an all night packing frenzy and not taking care of myself to where I couldn't hold down food for a while) as well as the ordinary adjustments that have to be made when you uproot your family.

There have been moments of frustration, but Karl and I each remember our Source of strength and press on. One little blessing was school supplies. If you've never had to purchase school supplies before, you just don't understand, but it can be a chore. If you're on the more thrifty side, you may be trying to get everything your child needs on the list for the cheapest price you can and maybe just maybe he can have one thing that is really in style. If you are on the more lavish side, it may be a real struggle to make sure everything is fashionable enough. The lists are often demanding in some areas and vague in others, leading to great amounts of confusion and frustration for the parents and students. Then the teachers on the other end have to deal with seven different types of glues and how it affects the art project they had planned. No such troubles at the boys' school. Each child paid a $20 school supplies fee and the teacher bought the supplies! Oh what a blessing! Let the teacher decide which type of glue she wants and what kind of notebooks to get. Hey, she can even get a good deal by getting them in bulk! Sure, it's a little thing, but since we just moved and I was sick to my stomach and even worse, it was a relief to not have to go and get school supplies!

Then there were bigger blessings, such as getting a refund from my former electric company just before the tiny final bill I had to pay (still don't know how I ended up with a credit on my account, but God does) and deposits for current utilities getting lowered or waived. Yes, sometimes I really do wonder if God smiles when He pours out blessings. Wouldn't you just love to see that smile once?